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Omar Gatlato (1977)

A somewhat cynical but realistic look at the alienation of men in Algerian society.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Boualem Benani ...
Omar Gatlato
Aziz Degga ...
Moh
Farida Guenaneche ...
Selma
Rabah Leghaa ...
Hamid Mechtak Maarifa
Abdelkader Chaou ...
The Singer
Krimo Baba Aïssa ...
Dahmane Beeftack
Areski Nebti ...
The Uncle
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Storyline

A watershed film, Omar Gatlato held a mirror up to Algerian male culture and the mirror cracked. The title refers to the expression "gatlato al-rujula," or, roughly, "machismo killed him" and the film's mordant insights into male posturing and alienation in Algerian society animate this bit of folk wisdom. In mock documentary style, a young man recounts with wry commentary a typical day in his life in the Bab el-Oued quarter of Algiers, while the camera playfully shows a different story. In following Omar and his friends in their pursuit of happiness, the film examines with shrewd humor the gang values of urban youth; their passion for popular culture (soccer, "Hindoo" movies, Rai concerts), their hidden fear of women, and their social insecurity in an environment where they are marginalized. Written by The Dude <mezzodon@yahoo.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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25 May 1977 (France)  »

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User Reviews

A funny look at algerian youth in the 70's
29 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

First feature film of now veteran director Merzak Allouache, Omar Gatlato presents itself as the diary of hero Omar Gatlato (played by very funny Boualem Benani), who directly talks to the camera, describing his everyday life: his home with all the family sleeping in the same room, his job, mostly sitting in an office dreaming about girls, his passion for egyptian movies and music, his love for a unknown woman seen on a window sill... The tone is joyous and lively, and the camera grips all the details which make of this portrait a very acute depiction of youth in Algeria in the midst of the 70's, torn between down-to-earth and day-to-day occupations and all this dreams of wealth provided by western civilization. In that matter, Allouache doesn't intent to be political in what he shows, or in a very underneath manner, since Omar's story mostly focuses on his sudden love for a girl whose voice he's heard on a tape. Difficulty to meet between boys and girls because of a cultural and religious heritage which divides the population in two distinct casts, male and female, promiscuity due to the lack of living space, ambitions often shattered by a country whose economics never could make it back since the independance : Omar Gatlato is a good testimony of an era now gone, and a perky and smiling look at a macho man such as they can only exist in arabic movies.


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